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Getting Started with Keyword Research

google-keyword-planner

Succeeding Online Starts with Keyword Research

By Kyle Patterson

Today we are talking about keyword research. If you don’t have a website yet, this will help you lay the groundwork for content that gets discovered online. If you do have a website, not to worry, there may be some adjustments you can make to help you take your traffic and conversions to the next level.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a word, phrase and search query that users are typing into major search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. As users type these phrases into the search engine, pages and pages of results show up and users are given the choice in regards to what website they want to visit and learn more about. As a small business owner or non-profit leader you want your organization to show up in these search results. Whether you’re selling soap, silverware or eye shadow, you can help potential customers find you by optimizing your website with these keyword phrases and search queries. This is called search engine optimization. Additionally you can bid to have these types of search queries sent to your website but we can get into that later. 

Optimizing Your Site

Optimizing your site starts with research. You may carry a number of products or services, so you need to figure out:

  • What phrases people are searching for.
  • What your competition is doing.
  • How to land your site in the first page of results.

To start you need to look at what type of search volume currently exists in the market you are looking to reach. Google’s free Keyword Planner is a good place to start. This free tool will help you find current Google search volume on specific keywords that you would like to test. You can narrow the search for specific markets and get new ideas from Google based on your industry and geography. 

Once you find at least 5 - 10 keywords that have a fair amount of search activity, you need to see where you currently stand on these keywords if you currently have a website. You also want to see what type of competition exists for the keywords you would like to rank for. If you’re not showing up on the first page of results there are strategies that can help you get there. So don’t be discouraged by what I am about to say next-- if you’re not on the first page you’re not being seen. And really to be totally honest you need to be in the top 3 results to really get people to your website. But again, not to worry. It is good to know where you stand right now though. To get an accurate view of this you really need to check out a couple of resources including WooRank or Moz. These tools will help you get an accurate assessment of your position for your site. These tools do cost money and take time to get accurate and most importantly actionable steps to take on your site. Additional you can hire a firm like ours to do this leg work for you as well as turn the data you get back into actionable strategies to increase your keyword utilization.

I also want to mention another tool that can help you assess your competitor's site and keyword strategies they are ranking for: Spyfu or SEMrush (affiliate link). Both of these tools will assess competitor sites and give you information on how their sites are ranking in search engines. This can be helpful to know as you look to outrank your competitors for the top spots in search. As I mentioned before, you want to aim for the top three spots.

Well this should keep you busy until our next post. Until then. 

(P.S. I am available to consult with companies or non-profits needing help succeeding online. Contact me here.)


Kyle Patterson is President of Thrive Media Group, an online marketing firm and Google partner. He is also the founder of UNITE, a collective impact organization functioning as a chamber of commerce for Christian leaders. 

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Improve Your Local Business Listings

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Improve Your Local Business Listings

Get found online by optimizing your business listings

By Kyle Patterson, President

If you do business locally you want to optimize your organization's presence online by making sure your business data shows up accurately online. As search engines scan millions of sites to serve local search results, search engines look for reliable sites that have updated and consistent information on their business. This is search engine optimization 101, but surprisingly many businesses don't take the time or energy to make sure their listings are set up properly and frankly maybe losing business to competitors because of it. But not to fear, with a little time you can be up and running quickly. 

Search Your Business

First thing I suggest is conducting a search on major search engines including Google, Yahoo! and Bing. When you search your company name and city what comes up? Does your address and phone number show up correctly? How about your hours of operation? How about photos of your business? Reviews of your business? These are all areas for improvement and optimization to improve what people see online about your business. It's worth the effort to add photos in Google My Business and asking or reviews from customers.  

After checking your listing in major search engines and heading over to Moz Local and check what results they come back with. I'll wait...

So what was your score?  

Submit Your Business

If you're like most businesses you could likely use a little work. You of course can go ahead and use Moz Local to submit your listings or take the manual route  and hit up these aggregator sites yourself. 

If you're going to submit your business yourself, check out this great tool also by Moz, listing the top sites that make the most impact for your online business listing.

Well that should keep you busy for a little bit. Happy business listing submissions. Until next time. 


Kyle Patterson is Founder and President of Thrive Media Group, a marketing consulting firm specializing in direct response strategies for business and non-profits. 

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Google Plus and Google My Business

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Google Plus and Google My Business

Google-plus-google-my-business

By Kyle Patterson, President of Thrive Media Group

So to get started, head over to Google My Business and enter your business information. Press search and see what results show up. If you see your organization, great.  

Step 2: If you don't show up, add your business

Adding your business to Google maps and search is as simple as filling out your information and waiting about to receive a verification postcard from Google in the mail. You’ll receive a postcard in the mail to verify your location with an access code in about one - two weeks. Fill this out following the directions on the postcard and you’re good to go. People all over the world, but specifically in your city can find you online. 

Google +

Next you want to set up a Google+ Page for your business. Your Google+ page will actually link to your Google My Business page and show reviews, photos and location information for your business as well as your hours of operation. Google+ is Google’s social network and a growing opportunity for businesses to increase visibility online. Post here often on what’s happening within your company and watch the results show up in search results as Google scans the entire network for search listings. Once you verify your location, you will show up as a verified business location in Google. 


Kyle Patterson is President of Thrive Media Group, a marketing consulting firm specializing in direct response strategies for businesses and non-profits. Kyle is also the found of UniteLeadership.com

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Get Found Online

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Get Found Online

By Kyle Patterson, President

Visibility is key for your business when it comes to succeeding online. With over 644 million websites online, there is a lot of competition. But not to worry. You’re unique and what you offer is likely different than 95% of every other sites out there. So you have a unique offering or service, now you need to get found. 

There are really two options to increase your online presence. We call the two opportunities online organic traffic and paid traffic. Organic traffic results when people are searching for your product or service and they find you online. Paid traffic comes when you pay major search engines or social media sites to send traffic to you. Today we are talking about a organic strategy that can direct people to your site to discover your service or product. 

Whether you’re a brick and mortar store, a non-profit, church or a service business based out of your home, every business needs to be found online and can benefit from business submissions.

Top Major Aggregators

According to SEO software company, Moz, "In the United States, there are four primary sources of data for all the major search engines: InfogroupAcxiomLocaleze, and Factual. Other companies like Yellowpages.comCitysearch, and Superpages.com can also play a role in this cycle, sending "fresh" feeds to the search engines every couple of months."

Having your business information show up correct online means more visibility and higher ranking in search results. When search engines see all your information correct across all major online aggregators, they assumes it must be correct and reliable to show in the top results page.


Kyle Patterson is President of THRiVE! Media Group, a marketing consulting firm specializing in direct response strategies for businesses and non-profits. 

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Submitting Your Website to Google Webmasters

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Submitting Your Website to Google Webmasters

Google-Webmasters

 

Increase Your Online Visibility by Taking a Proactive Approach with Google

By Kyle Patterson, President Thrive Media Group

Now that you’ve got your website up and running you want to make sure it is being crawled by major search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. So head over to Google Webmasters and sign up for a for a free account. 

Once you sign into Google Webmasters Search Console you’ll be able to add a property- your website URL into Google.

Next you’ll be asked to verify your ownership of this website. The recommended way to do this is through your domain registrar account with either GoDaddy or  or one of the many other options in the drop down.

Once you verify you are the account owner you want to track the health of your website. Google Webmasters is a free tool that can significantly increase your visibility online and take your website from beginner basics to advanced pro. Notice in the picture below that depending on what you do or don't do in Google Webmasters will affect what shows up or doesn't show up in Google search. Your work on the front end will yield you search traffic increase in the long term, so it's worth a couple hours of your times to throughly utilize the tools Google has made available to you. And if you don't have the time or expertise to go through the tools, contact a firm like ours to be your outsourced web department, we'd be happy to help. 

Within the Search Console of Google Webmasters your want to focus your attention of four categories to maximize your impact:

1) Search Appearance

When someone searches online for your site or a keyword you are trying to rank for, what information about your business shows up in search results? You can actually control this information through utilizing the tools in this area.

2) Search traffic

Understand your traffic and where it’s coming from. 

3) Google Index
How Google indexes your site is important for what shows up in search results so take some time in this area as well. 

4) Crawl

Use this tool to get real feedback on from Google as your site is scanned or "crawled."


Thrive Media Group is a marketing consulting firm specializing in helping your business or non-profit with direct response strategies that impact your bottom line. 

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Online Marketing 101

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Your business or non-profit needs to be online. And by online, we mean more than just piecing together a beginner’s website. Though that’s a start, I am talking about utilizing the many channels that exist online to bring in new leads, clients and sales for your business. There’s a process to take to make sure you’re harnessing all the opportunities the web offers and this course is designed to get you started. Don’t miss out on incredible growth opportunities, expand your reach and develop relationships with people across physical boundaries.

It’s truly an incredible time we live in and you need to take advantage of the opportunity we have to utilize the power of the internet for good. For growing your business and allowing yourself the time and margin to spend more time with your family, friends and helping your community.

This 10 part course is designed to get you started online. Along the way, our team at THRiVE! is happy to answer any questions you have and help in anyway you need us to. We’ve been in business for over 8 years and have practiced what we preached for our companies, as well as many others. View a couple of our reviews here.

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Should You Start a Business Blog?

Business Blogging Can Grow Your Sales and Influence Online

 

By Kyle Patterson, President of THRiVE! Media Group, a Google Partner

That's a question I hear a lot. The simple answer is yes. The process though isn't so simple but this article will help you see the benefits of blogging and some ideas to get you started. 

First of all let's start with the basics of what is a blog? 

A blog is best compared to an online educational tool to share your voice and expertise with visitors to your website. Usually connected with a product or service you offer on your website, your blog a revolving area of articles around the value your business can provide potential clients. 

Here's a few things a blog can do for your business: 

1) Share your expertise. By giving away some of your knowledge and expertise you establish yourself as an authority in your field. People will resect and view you as a true expert in your. Sharing your expertise establishes credibility for you with potential clients, helping you grow your business and leads. 

2) Increase visibility for your busines online. On any given search, thousands of results show up in Google. How are you going to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other choices? A blog with detailed information will help potential clients chose you over a competitor. Additionally a blog with quality content and the right keywords will increase the authority of your site, meaning search engines are more likely to serve your page and blog post toward the top of search engine results. 

3) Build Trust. When prospects begin the journey to purchase your offering, they start by doing some research on what you offer. By blogging your likely to show up in search and start a relationship with visitors. 

4) Inbound Marketing. Blogging is one of the top tools for developing inbound marketing funnels for your business. Inbound Marketing is when visitors to your website actually pick up the phone and call you or register for a mailing list or buy right online. Blogging gets this funnel started

5) Promote. Promoting blog posts on social media packed full of good industry information get better click through rates, shares and more. Invest your paid marketing dollars in promoting blog posts that help people. 

These are just a few of the pros of blogging. Have you found blogging helpful for your business? Are you thinking of getting started blogging? We'd love to hear from you

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The Need for Website Speed

When Google considers placing your website in the first page of search results one of the factors has to do with the speed at which your website loads. 

According to Neil Patel at Quicksprout, 40% of people will close a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Yet, the average site takes 8-10 seconds for to load. That could be a problem for your business. 

Think of it like this. You pull up to your favorite store and instead of the automatic door opening, you are waiting outside waiting for the door to open. All so you can spend money at their store. After 10 seconds you may think the store is closed and decide to go next door instead. It's similar on your website. When your site takes too long to load, people get antsy and hit the back button and choose a different search result. And that's if you site even shows up in the search results. So everytime it does, you need to make the most of every opportunity. 

So here's what you can do.

1) Visit Google Page Speed Insights

2) Enter your URL in the tracker. 

3) Take a look at the site suggestions that Google comes back with and begin working to make changes. One of the easy fixes you can make is in regards to images on your website. Optimizing your images for web use is key and making sure they are not taking up too much load time is an easy fix for your site. 

Want more tips and tricks when it comes to optimizing your web presence? Subscribe for free here: 


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8 Ways to Improve Your Visibility Online

Your website can be an asset to grow your business. Here's 8 easy fixes to increase your visibility online. 

By Kyle Patterson, President of THRiVE! Media Group, a Google partner

There are at least 8 easy actions you can take to improve your website's visibility online. By focusing on ranking your site in search engines for keywords that are relevant to your business, your site will begin to get noticed and show up in relevant search results, leading to new visitors to your site. Once visitors come to your site you need to have the right offer and a way to capture leads (but that's a post for another day.)

1) Header tags. Utilize header tags in each page of your website to explain to search engines, what your page is about. By doing a little research, you can find relevant keywords for your industry. Once you know what language people are using to search for your competitors you can begin strategizing around ranking for these keywords and inserting the keywords into the  header of each page. 

2) Image tags. Google and other search engines can tell what a picture is by the image tags. They can read the text associated with each image, but not "see" the image itself. So when you are inserting photos into your site, make sure you are tagging them with relevant keywords and phrases that will show up as people search. 

3) Title of your posts. Your page and post title are vital to include your keyword terms into your website. When your updating your site's content or creating a new post, build your keyword strategy into each title. 

4) Blogging. Frequent updates to your website and consistent quality content helps establish you and your website as an authority in your industry and on your topic. Your posts should focus on helping your target audience with real needs. Understanding your buyer persona and target customer helps to focus your content on what they need to know. Add value to readers and don't just promote your products and services. Help your site visitor by providing "how to" content or practical actions your readers can take. This builds trust with your audience and keeps them coming back for more. 

5) URL Names. By building keywords into your blog post titles, pictures, and URLS you help explain to search engines what your website is all about. Utilize the URL name to show your keywords. 

6) Google +. Google's social network allows your page, updates and website to show in search results. By utilizing frequent updates and linking your site to Google+ and Google+ My Business, Google search results will more prominetly display your content and help people discover your business. 

7) Social Shares. Grow your following and increase web visibility by utilizing social share buttons on your website and let your friends and fans promote for you. When you add value and create content that is practical and helpful, more people are likely to share it. 

8) Inbound Links. By building a link strategy with affiliates, customers and partners linking back to valuable content on your website, search engines recognize this as a "thumbs up" for your website. Search engines track the number of inbound links back to your website and this helps your site rank higher (closer to page 1) of search results for related searches. 

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Are We There Yet?

To get your business or non-profit where you want to go online, you need a plan, data and goals. 

By Kyle Patterson, President of THRiVE! Media Group. THRiVE! is a Google Partner for Adwords and Analytics and a website developer in Buffalo, NY. 

Embarking on any journey requires a map. You need to know where you are going if you're going to arrive safely and on time. The problem is many people know they need a website and online presence but they don't exactly know where they are going, what they are hoping to accomplish or where they are at currently. 

If you have a website you need to understand where you are before you go any further. Just as a map is no good if you can't locate yourself on it, not knowing where you are at with the effectiveness of your website is just the same. Basing your ideas on assumptions or purely asthetics of the site is not a good idea either. Thankfully there is Google Analytics. Running Analytics on your website will provide you data on what people are doing when they come to your site, how many pages each visitor is looking at, what pages they are leaving your site at and the length of time they are engaging with you. Understanding this data and using it to make informed decisions about your website is incredibly helpful and essential before going further in your site development. 

We recommend running analytics on your site for 30-60 days before making any decisions about what pages to change, add or cut in a site update or complete redesign. Then we can make a plan and goals for the site and implement the necessary changes to improve your site's performance and your business results. As a Google certified partner, we can help. Get started. 

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Now What?

Next Steps To Turn Your Website Into An Effective Business Tool

So you spent all that money making your website look great. And that's a good thing. But now what is it doing for your business?

Your website can be an incredibly effective tool for your business. One that actually impacts your bottom line and goes beyond "brand awareness." 

But you have to do it right. And that can be challenging and something the average business owner just doesn't have time for. But they need to, or find someone (like THRiVE!) that has the system and process in place to do it for them. 

Here are a couple of things you can implement immediately to begin seeing results for your business or non-profit bottom line. 

1) Goals. Just like in anything having goals makes a difference. What do you want your website to accomplish? Are you looking to grow your mailing list? Sell things via e-commerce. Showcase your work and get new clients? Video plays. Education? Memberships? 

Set goals for your website and then you can understand if your website is ultimately successful. 

2) Analytics. You need to understand where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing when they get to your site and how often they come back to the site. Google Analytics is a free tool and an excellent place to start. By inserting track code on your site, visitor activity is recorded and sent back to Google Analytics and made available to you for reporting purposes. Running Google analytics is another service my company THRiVE! can provide you with. 

3) Blogging. Don't over think the word blogging. Blogging is simply writing valuable content around what your customers care about. It could be industry trends and news. It could be how to articles on assembling products your carry. The main thing to remember is that you want to make the articles helpful and beneficial to your reader. Don't be overly promotional. Add value. Give the reader what they want and you will in turn get what you want- new business.

I hope this helped you get started with utilizing your website as a business tool and engine rather than a stagnant must have expense for your business. Implementing the right strategy can help your business grow and your website be a channel of income and ROI for your business. 

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Are You Mobile Ready?

The rules are changing. Again. Well this time the rules regarding online search traffic for your website is affected and it has to do with whether or not your site is mobile friendly.

Mobile device usage continues to surge and Google has adjusted the way they bring traffic to your website based on whether or not your website is mobile ready.

In their own words, "We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling."

This change specifically affects searches performed on mobile devices on Google. If your site isn't mobile optimized, as of April 2015 you can expect to see a drop in website traffic from mobile devices.

So, here's what you can do. 

Test your site here.

Build your own site here. 

We'll build a custom site for you. 
 

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There's a better way.

There's a better way to generate leads and close sales for your business. And no it doesn't involve a phone, yellow pages and cold calls. That may have worked 20 years ago but times have changed and you need to as well. 1 in 100 calls leading to a business opportunity just isn't good odds and it isn't a good use of your time and energy either.

As a Google Adwords certified partner, I uncover opportunities for small businesses and non-profits to meet demand and search. We get to uncover business opportunities everyday and have the satisfaction of bringing quality leads to businesses that otherwise would be searching the phone book, speaking to gate keepers, leaving voicemails and hoping for a call back. 

One of the features I love to talk with small businesses about is a click-to-call campaign in Google Adwords. Talk about turning the tables on the cold call. With this type of campaign we funnel the existing demand and search for your product or service to your business and you only pay when someone calls you. Yes, that's right, when someone calls you to respond to a specific offer you have placed online. This is a qualified lead, already searching for what you offer. They see your ad served at the right time and they respond. You pick up the phone, walk them through the sales process, take their information, present the offer, close the deal. 

There's a better way. By the way, if you need help getting started collecting leads and sales opportunities, my company THRiVE! would be honored to serve your direct response marketing needs. 

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6 Elements of Successful Online Campaigns

Thousands of searches are being done online for your products or services.

Every single day. 

To successfully land this business on your website and convert an interested party into your customer, I recommend 6 elements to your next online campaign: 

1) Research- understand the market for your product or service online and what type of traffic you can anticipate. Knowing this data will help you plan and budget accordingly. 

2) Strategy- what results are you looking for? E-commerce sales through your website? Phone calls to your business? Email list growth? E-book/guide downloads? 

3) Planning- Decide what type of campaign will be best for your product or service. Search campaigns, display network campaigns or social. What's best? You'll know this based on the results you are looking for as well as the type of product or service you offer. 

4) Execution- Step 4 is putting the research, strategy and planning into a fully optimized plan. Included in execution is setting up the necessary tracking codes on your website, conversion optimizing the campaign, automating email responses and setting up e-commerce solutions and shipping options. 

5) Testing/tweaking/tracking- Based on your maximum cost per click and gross margin, you can test and tweak the campaign for best results. Test and tweak your campaign to produce results that increase your profit margin and grow your business. 

6) Reporting- I recommend a full report monthly to understand your traffic patterns, sales online, and where you may be losing customers in the process. Make neccessary changes and repeat.

Don't leave business on the table or to chance. By planning and executing the right campaigns online, you're opening up a whole new opportunity for sales and growth.

Blessings on your journey.

 

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7 Reasons to Consider Google Adwords

You use it every single day.

If you're online, you're going to search for information, products, and services. According to the latest stats, 

Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. 

Surprisingly, many businesses and even more non-profits aren't taking advantage of the opportunity it presents to grow your sales, establish a steady stream of income and automate your sales processes.

If your business or non-profit isn't using Google advertising solutions, you need to consider it for a number of reasons. 

1) Your customers and prospects are using search today to find products that you carry. There's already a market for what you offer and their using the internet to research and secure a vendor like you. 

2) Using the Google Keyword planner you can view and forecast how many searches are being done each month for your product or service. 

3) Budgeting appropriately, you can set a bid to direct search traffic to your website and landing page. This traffic is coming to your page looking for what you offer, now that's a warm lead. 

4) When your prospect arrives on your site, your landing page and offer determines if the customer will convert and pay for your service. 

5) Testing your campaign effectiveness and conversions is available through Google analytics and your campaign reports. Tweak and adjust to optimize for sales. 

6) Inserting tracking codes into your site allows a track-able and measurable ROI for your business. You know if you campaign is profitable or not. Leave the guess work of the effectiveness of your advertising at home.

7)  Remarketing allows you to serve ads to prospects that have visited your site but haven't bought from you yet. Serve ads and drive new business back to your site as you track interested parties across the internet and drive them back to your sales page. 

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Put Your Business on the Map

Google is the biggest referrer of traffic to small business and non-profit websites in the world. And they have a free tool that you need to be taking advantage of. 

On 3/25, Google launched Let’s Get Our Cities on the Map, a tailor-made program designed to strengthen 30,000 communities across the nation by helping their local businesses get online. The program provides each city with a custom website where local businesses can go for online help. It’s loaded with helpful resources, like a diagnostic tool that shows businesses how they appear on Search and Maps, a step-by-step guide for getting online with Google My Business.

Visit www.gybo.com/#video and get your local #smallbiz #OnTheMap. It’s free and takes 10 minutes.

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Responsive Design

Responsive web design is no longer a luxury, it's imperative. 

If your business doesn't have a responsive website to reach customers searching for your business and services on every kind of devise, you're leaving money on the table. 

Customers you could be engaging with online are bouncing off your website before it even finishes loading. Check your analytics account. I assure you there not waiting around for your site to load. They're going to a competitor. 

It's no longer about creating a scaled down version of your site. It's about providing an experience that customizes according to your devise. iPhone, Android, iPad, desktop, kindle, etc. Your customers are using them. Are you reaching them? 

Stop leaving money on the table. 

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ROI Matters

Every dollar counts. 

As a small business owner or non-profit leader, every dollar you have matters. That's why we're so focused on ROI driven campaigns that track and report on conversions, sales, mailing list signups and business growth. 

And here's the thing: you don't need to be without this kind of information and data when it comes to your advertising/marketing/fundraising. 

Too many times I've seen businesses and non-profits throw their money away hoping that it will bring results. Hoping your marketing works is not a good strategy. Your business deserves better. Your non-profit requires better. You need results and we can help. 

It's time you stopped guessing. It's time to pay for results. Your business deserves better. Every dollar counts. 

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